< Upheaval: Speling Bea

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Speling Bea

You would think it would be quiet in this big room, but there are so many people making so many small noises that it practically roars. That doesn't help my nerves.

My hands are soaked with sweat. I gave up wiping them on my pants an hour ago. It is cold in here, but I keep feeling waves of heat. The string for this stupid placard is rubbing my neck raw. Some of the other spellers are laughing and talking quietly with each other, but we really aren't supposed to. We are supposed to dwell in our anxious misery, then succumb to our nerves by fainting on national television, I suppose.

There are only eight of us left. I have spelled some really hard words, but I know that they will just get trickier.

It is my turn, so I step up to the mic and take a deep breath through my nose. The room is silent.

"Niece," the pronouncer says.

What? He has GOT to be kidding me.

"Can you give me the language of origin, please?" I ask, barely above a whisper. My throat is dry.

"Middle English," he intones.

"Uhh... are there any alternate pronounciations?"

"No. There are not." Man, this guy has a boring job and a boring voice.

"Okay, can you read me the definition, please?" I ask.

"Niece - a daughter of one's brother, sister, brother-in-law, or sister-in-law."

"Are there any alternate definitions?" I ask, hopefully. This has GOT to be a trick.

"No," he says.

"Okay. Niece.... sorry, what was the part of speech?"

"Noun," he sighs.

I can tell he is exasperated. I take a deep breath and let it out slowly. I lift my placard and scrawl the word on the back. My scratching finger echos through the mic and fills the room with noise.

"Niece.... N - E - I - C - E. Niece."

The ring of the bell startles me. I can see my parents in the crowd, cradling their heads in their hands. The silence that follows the sharp ring is deafening. I am grabbed from the side by an escort and led off stage.

In the chaos that follows, I can hear a voice, alone above all of the other ones.

It is my sister.

"Yeah! You have been spelling it wrong on your blog all along, too!"


Blogger Jennboree said...

AHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! I am laughing so loud, it is startling your NIECE.

Whew...that was a fun lil' ride.


7:46 PM  
Blogger Greg - Cowboy in the Jungle said...


Great story and cute way to admit your own mistakes. You got moxie! Thanks for sharing that.

9:30 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

*A shout from the crowd way in the back...*

"It's 'I' before 'E' except after 'C'! AHAHAHAHAAH"


*She runs of the stage crying...*

This is how it would be if the spelling bee was like a sporting event... Am I the only one that thinks it would be great to have "Hecklers" at the spelling bee?

8:49 AM  
Blogger jes said...

ben! that's the same thing i thought! it's I before E except after C! i'm glad we're such spelling experts.

9:11 AM  
Blogger Jennboree said...

Have you watched the spelling bees, Ben? If we heckled, there might be many early childhood heart attacks. Those kids are so intensely serious and anxious, they are just barely able to breathe out the letters!

1:24 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

LOL! :) Hilarious :)

1:32 PM  
Blogger Amanda Sue said...

ben, funny that you were the one "in the crowd" and i was the one on the stage with the REAL spellers.


3:45 PM  
Blogger Vanessa said...

My actual NIECE has been in our regional spelling bee the last two years and both times I got so nervous I gave myself a headache. I don't know HOW those kids do it. Enjoyed the post, Amanda!

4:19 PM  
Anonymous tracey said...

Amanda -- I loved it!

7:44 PM  
Blogger quycksilver said...

Hee Hee!

3:14 AM  
Blogger Stephen said...

Great post. :)

I lost the only spelling bee I was ever in. In the first round. On the word moccasin.

It's jaded me to them.

3:39 AM  

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